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Suggestions for portable SatNav

 
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Ralsters
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Joined: 26/06/2003 21:53:20
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

I'm totally new to GPS and Satellite navigation and would like some advice or suggestions on equipment to buy.



I need a portable GPS system for in car navigation.Needs to be capable of swapping in and out of different cars. My budget is up to 600.

I have been looking at a few different options and the TomTom Navigator 2 kit and Ipaq 3970 looks good, but hey what do I know ;o)



I'm looking for anyone here to advise me on the most reliable system(doesn't lose satellite and has good, reliable maps;UK only required)that would best suit me.

I will primarily be travelling across the UK, from Scotland to most parts of England, and back. It needs to be accurate and full street mapping in towns as well as big cities. Bit of a tall order I know, but i'm optimistic.





Thankyou and look forward to any suggestions.
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

It shouldn't be a tall order at all. If an iPAQ 3970 and TomTom Navigator 2 full kit is in your price range, it should work just fine for you.



Like all such systems, the map data isn't perfect, but it isn't bad. There are a few glitches with the place and street name database, but these can usually be worked round. Overall, TomTom Navigator 2 is a very popular choice.





You will need a SD card for the map data - but a 128MB SD card won't cost you much more than 40. I'd recommend going for a 256MB card so you have room for other things, but the full UK maps only take 95MB.



I'm using an 3970 with TomTom Navigator 2 software - though I'm not using the TomTom GPS or mount; I'm using a Haicom HI-303MMF CompactFlash GPS connected via an expansion pack and a Brodit mount. However, the TomTom items are perfectly serviceable!





If you buy a 3970 now, you'll probably be able to get an upgrade to the new Pocket PC OS, Pocket PC 2003, for handling charges only - though the UK upgrade details are not available yet.





The only other comment is that a good screen protector can not only protect your screen when you may land up pressing buttons on it using your fingers, but can provide a measure of anti-glare on your screen. I've got a WriteSHIELD on my 3970, which is available from Expansys. The deluxe pack includes a rather good cleaning spray and additional cleaning cloth.







David
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genes
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Joined: 19/06/2003 16:25:45
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

Hi

You might look at Holux you get a Dell Axim, GPS compact flash, cradle and TomTom Navigator 2 for a little over 400.00 inc VAT They also have SD 128mb for about 30.00



Nice people to do business with



Terry
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Ralsters
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice guys.

One thing that i would like to know,which is better? A seperate GPS receiver(like what is bundled with the TomTom software/Ipaq package i was looking at)(i think they call it a mouse??)or a GPS receiver built in to an IPAQ sleeve(or compact flash). Can you tell me which would be best as im confused.



Thanks...
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

It depends what you want to do.



There's four options, essentially - in rough order of cost from cheapest to most expensive.





A mouse is the cheapest - that connects to the port at the bottom of your PDA and to a cigarette lighter socket. The cable powers both the GPS and the PDA. You need to disable any keyboard drivers when using this setup, as you use the serial port for the GPS.



A variant of the first is to use a standalone GPS with a serial cable. If you already have a GPS, or if you fancy a GPS that can be used independently away from the car, this option may make sense. It does mean you really need space to mount two items in car though. Again - you need to disable any keyboard drivers when using this setup. For in car use, it's worth tracking down cables that no only provide the serial link, but allow both devices to be powered externally.





The next option is a sleeve or CompactFlash GPS. Personally, I would not opt for a sleeve - if you have an iPAQ that can use sleeves, my preference would be to go for a CompactFlash GPS and a CompactFlash expansion pack. That way, if you buy another Pocket PC that won't take sleeves (and the new mid and low range iPAQs don't), you will be able to use your GPS if you have a CompactFlash slot. The new iPAQ 2210 has a CompactFlash slot as well as a SD slot - but can't take a sleeve.



There's two advantages of this, though it's more expensive. Firstly, the setup will work away from the car (unlike the GPS 'mouse') - as it doesn't require external power. Secondly, the problem of mounting the GPS is done for you - as it's physically attached to the Pocket PC (this makes the setup more portable). However, the down side is that you have to mount the Pocket PC with a reasonably clear view of the sky! For in car use, the power to the Pocket PC powers the GPS.





There is an interesting hybrid in the Haicom HI-303MMF. It's really a CompactFlash GPS (with the nice feature that you can tilt the antenna so that it's horizontal to the sky - also fold it up for storage). However, you can also plug in a cable and use it in mouse mode, with one proviso - there's seemingly no serial input in mouse mode, so you can't reconfigure the GPS in that mode. I've got a HI-303MMF that I use with my 3970 and I find that a great combination.





The final option is Bluetooth - the GPS is in a separate unit with its own battery, which connects to your Pocket PC over Bluetooth. It has advantages, particularly if you want to go hiking with your setup (it's the easiest setup to weatherproof - you can put the GPS and the PDA in waterproof cases), but it's the most expensive way. It also really requires two power leads in car - one for the PDA and the other for the GPS.



Most Bluetooth units are small objects without their own display, though the Fortuna GPSmart Bluetooth has its own display as well as Bluetooth functionality.







David
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Ralsters
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Joined: 26/06/2003 21:53:20
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

Hello again,



I have decided to copy DavidW's configuration(always take advice from those who know!).

I have now purchased the IPAQ 3970, and have started to look for the Haicom HI-303MMF CompactFlash GPS, but am finding it difficult to find. Can anyone recommend a online store??

Also when looking for a Compact Flash expansion pack, is there any specific one to go for? when looking online there seems to be a wide selection to choose from with widely varying prices. Will one particular CF expansion pack work better than another(are there compatability issues?)as some prices are as low as 40 and as high as 130???



Any help with the above would be much appreciated.



Many thanks,

Graham
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DavidW
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

Any CompactFlash expansion pack should work fine. Expansys have the original one without a screen protector and external battery here which should be fine.



The CompactFlash Expansion Pack Plus has the same kind of screen protector as the 'cover pack' supplied with your iPAQ, also it has an external battery that powers both the expansion hardware and the iPAQ. However it's a lot more money.





The Haicom HI-303MMF - www.globalpositioningsystems.co.uk have them, though it sounds as if there'll be a couple of days wait for new stock. They have all the cables and other accessories too. Search for "Haicom 303" on their home page.



I also bought my TomTom Navigator 2 software from them.







David
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Ralsters
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Joined: 26/06/2003 21:53:20
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Location: United Kingdom

PostPosted: Sun Sep 14, 2003 8:04 am    Post subject: Suggestions for portable SatNav Reply with quote

Thanks for all the advice.

I have now purchased the items previously mentioned and eagerly await their arrival.

No doubt i shall be back asking for help once this happens.



Graham
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